Poets & Writers COVID-19 Relief Fund

Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors established the Poets & Writers COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance to writers having difficulty meeting their basic needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, we distributed 107 grants of $1,000 each to writers from twenty-six states. We are pleased to announce a second round of funding, in which we expect to be able to distribute grants of $1,000 to approximately thirty writers.


To be eligibile, a writer must meet one of these criteria:

  • be listed in the Poets & Writers Directory as of June 1, 2020; or
  • have received a mini-grant from our Readings & Workshops program; or
  • have received one of the following awards or fellowships sponsored by Poets & Writers:
    • Amy Award
    • Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award
    • Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award
    • Galen Williams Fellowship; or
  • have published at least one book-length work of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction; or
  • have published three short works (poems, essays, stories, spoken word performances, etc.)

Writers who have already received support through the Relief Fund are not eligible to reapply at this time. Poets & Writers employees and Board members, and their immediate family members, are ineligible.


UPDATE: The application portal for this round of funding is now closed. Due to the volume of requests for support we are unable to accept further applications at this time. We urge you to review this list of resources, which includes a number of other organizations offering support for writers impacted by COVID-19.


A committee comprised of members of Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors and 50th Anniversary Writers Committee will review each application. Review is based on specific criteria to prioritize those writers with greatest financial need.


We will notify each applicant of the status of their application by the middle of July.


Grants will be issued by check or PayPal.


We respect applicants’ privacy and will not disclose any personal information related to applicants or grantees. Grantees’ stories will be shared only with their express permission.


We sincerely wish we could provide support to every writer in need. Given the enormous need and our limited resources, we will only be able to help a small number of applicants. We encourage you to pursue all other avenues to identify the assistance you need. We’ve listed many resources here; we’ll update this page regularly, so please check back often.


Please contact relief@pw.org with any questions.


We are deeply grateful to those who have provided support to the Relief Fund, including: the Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors; Hachette Book Group, Hello Sunshine; Zibby Owens; Michael Pietsch; Stacy Schiff; Simon & Schuster; Amor Towles; and several anonymous donors.

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